Journalist Who Crashed Live Russian TV News Program Tells Viewers, 'Don't Be Such Zombies'

Screenshot from YouTube/DOXA

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Russia’s state-run Channel One television station, burst into the station’s TV studio on Monday evening and began to read an anti-war screed that said Russia was the aggressor and Putin was to blame. She also resigned from Russia One.

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For 15 seconds, the truth was shown to the Russian people.

She also released a statement prior to her heroic act that resonated with her colleagues at Russia One, the TV station where she had been employed.

“What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. And Russia is the aggressor here. And responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of a single man: Vladimir Putin. My father is Ukrainian. My mother is Russian. And they’ve never been enemies. And this necklace I’m wearing is a symbol of that fact that Russia must immediately end this fratricidal war. And our fraternal peoples will still be able to make peace. Unfortunately, I’ve spent many of the last few years working for Channel One, doing Kremlin propaganda, and I’m deeply ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to come from the TV screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when all this had just started.”

She went on to urge her fellow Russians to join anti-war protests, asserting: “We just silently watched this anti-human regime at work. And now the whole world has turned its back on us. And the next 10 generations won’t wash away the stain of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It’s in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t lock us all away.”

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In fact, three of Ovsyannikova’s colleagues have also resigned to show their solidarity.

Hours after Marina Ovsyannikova’s on-screen resignation, three other resignations came to light.

Channel One colleague Zhanna Agalakova quit her job as Europe correspondent while two journalists have left rival NTV. Lilia Gildeyeva had worked for the channel as a presenter since 2006 and Vadim Glusker had been at NTV for almost 30 years.

The network RT stopped all of its programming in the U.S. when the invasion began. And now its journalists around the world are protesting by refusing to promote Putin’s propaganda anymore.

A number of other RT journalists have also resigned, including non-Russian journalists working for its language services.

Former London correspondent Shadia Edwards-Dashti announced her resignation on the day Russia invaded Ukraine without giving a reason. Moscow-based journalist Jonny Tickle quit on the same day “in light of recent events”.

French RT presenter Frédéric Taddeï said he was leaving his show because France was “in open conflict” with Russia and he could not continue to host his program Forbidden to Forbid “out of loyalty to my country”.

Ovsyannikova appeared in court after being questioned for 15 hours by Russian authorities. In a subsequent trial, she was found guilty of organizing an illegal protest and fined 30,000 rubles (about $280), although it is not clear whether further charges will be pursued against her.

In an interview with Reuters, Ovsyannikova said she had no plans to leave Russia and that she hoped there would be no criminal charges filed against her.

“I believe in what I did but I now understand the scale of the problems that I’ll have to deal with, and, of course, I’m extremely concerned for my safety,” Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One, told Reuters.

“I absolutely don’t feel like a hero… You know, I really want to feel that this sacrifice was not in vain, and that people will open their eyes.”

“Don’t be such zombies; don’t listen to this propaganda; learn how to analyse information; learn how to find other sources of information – not just Russian state television,” Ovsyannikova told Reuters.

That’s good advice for anyone these days.

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